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Published on April 22, 2014

Health Department Observes National Infant Immunizations Week

April 22, 2014

Courtesy of DeKalb County Health Department

Each year, numerous vaccine-preventable illnesses are reported in Illinois.  Certain diseases, such as measles, are making a comeback as some parents choose to either delay or decline vaccinations for their children. In observance of National Infant Immunizations Week, April 26 to May 3, the DeKalb County Health Department is reminding parents to follow the recommended immunization schedule to protect their infants and children by providing immunity early in life.

“Babies need to visit a doctor or clinic for vaccinations at least five times by the age of 2 for protection against serious childhood diseases,” said Jane Lux, Health Department Administrator. “Immunizations not only provide individual protection to each child, but protect the health of the entire community.”

The DeKalb County Health Department’s Immunizations Program works to prevent the spread of illness by vaccinating adults and children for protection against a wide variety of diseases. These diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children.  Last year the program provided more than 6,700 vaccinations to babies up to 2 years of age. The adult immunization program provided more than 2,600 vaccinations to adults. Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the United States and around the world. In 2013, the DeKalb County Health Department’s Communicable Disease program investigated 18 cases of vaccine-preventable illnesses. 

One example of the seriousness of vaccine-preventable diseases is an increase in measles cases or outbreaks that were reported in 2013. While no cases were in DeKalb County, data from 2013 showed a higher than normal number of measles cases nationally and in individual states, including an outbreak of 58 cases in New York City that was the largest reported outbreak of measles in the U.S. since 1996.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death.  They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.  Diseases that vaccines protect against include chickenpox, diphtheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, rotavirus, haemophilus influenza type b, pneumococcus, and influenza.  For the 2014 infant immunizations schedule, visit:

For additional information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 815-748-2460 for children or 815-748-2467 for adults.

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